Coke GB to review PR after Wilkinson hire

Coca-Cola has parachuted in Tim Wilkinson from its Asia division to take a beefed-up top UK PR job as it bids to bolster its reputation among government and local communities.

Wilkinson joins Coca-Cola GB as director of public affairs and comms, the same title he held in Hong Kong.

Coke GB’s former comms director and 15-year company stalwart Martin Norris has been shuffled into the role of manager – external affairs, reporting to Wilkinson.

Wilkinson himself reports to North West Europe president Tom Long, who said Wilkinson would help Coke handle the growing number of stakeholders with which it needs to communicate and would also boost ‘communications on nutrition’.

Wilkinson started this week, with a review of the structure of Coke’s comms team, which has around 12 staff, a priority.

Long said it was likely there would be more emphasis on strengthening community, government and stakeholder relationships but declined to pre-empt Wilkinson’s review and its likely consequences for staff and agency spend.

Wilkinson said he was ‘looking at how the [comms] function is structured internally and externally to help meet strategic goals’ and that he aimed to ensure ‘greater accessibility’ and provide Coke with a ‘human face’.

Government and community affairs was formerly handled by head of citizenship Emma Wigzell, who now reports to Wilkinson.

Coca-Cola retains Burson-Marsteller for UK corporate comms, ‘various consultants’ for PA and eight agencies for consumer PR across its brand portfolio.

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